Filing suit in Small Claim’s Court!

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If someone owes you money and won’t pay, you don’t have to hire an attorney, instead you could take them to small claims court.  In Texas, each County has its own JP Courts that decide cases under $10,000.00.  The process is very simple and the JP staff are very helpful.

 You will be requested to fill out a civil warrant or a civil summons form which contains space for the details of the claim.  Be sure you have the Defendant’s correct address, so the Sheriff’s office can serve them with a copy of the legal papers.

Once a hearing is set and held, you must show up to tell the Court or a Jury your side of the case. The judge will conduct the trial in an informal manner so as to do substantial justice between the parties. The judge will have the discretion to admit all evidence which may be of probative value although not in accordance with formal rules of practice, procedure, pleading or evidence, except that privileged communications shall not be admissible. The object of such trials shall be to determine the rights of the litigants on the merits and to dispense expeditious justice between the parties.

The successful plaintiff in a civil case will in most cases be awarded a money judgment as compensation for the defendant’s wrongful act. The judgment is judicial recognition that the defendant is indebted to the plaintiff for a particular sum of money. The plaintiff is never assured of actually receiving the money, however, since the judgment can only be enforced out of property belonging to the defendant. Remedies to enforce judgments are available, but a defendant in a civil case is not subject to criminal sanctions for failing to pay a money judgment.  Good luck!

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